Jamb’s Use of English, comprehension section is well inebriated with some very trickery questions. But the way to answering it right is not far-fetched and you will know just how to answer jamb comprehension passage correctly.
Let me cut the chase, below are 6 vital secrets of how to answer jamb comprehension passage in 2020.
Okay, this is one of the secrets you will discover in this advanced guide today. I just said every comprehension passage in Jamb has a setting, what does this even mean and how does it help?
Just hold on a second let me expatiate!
First, when we talk about comprehension, we are talking about a piece of writing addressing a particular subject or a short piece of passage passing a piece of information on a particular subject, the idea behind this is explained; the author aims to see how well you can comprehend the given information in a passage.
What you need to know to prove to the writer that you understand the passage is this very key secret “Every passage has its setting”.
If you do not understand the setting of a passage, it would be difficult to understand the whole passage.
From the way a writer puts up a comprehension passage, the information contained, how the writer starts and ends the passage plus the arising questions, you will be able to know the setting of that particular passage.
For example; most passages are fictional stories, some are set to address the current happenings in our society while some talk about science and technology, etcetera.
Once you know the whole logic behind the setting of a passage, you will be able to arrive at the exact answer.
We will deal with one of Jamb’s comprehension passages shortly so you can understand this, but for now, let me give you some other vital points to hold.
As a candidate, when you are faced with a passage, whatever the passage says is what you must give when the author asks you a relating question.
Let’s say in a portion of a passage, we have this paragraph:
It was desirable that we should meet both these requirements and thus give to those chosen to attempt the summit and to their supporting teams some measure of insurance against the vagaries of weather, for safety in mountain climbing is as much a matter of swiftness as of sureness of foot. Either or both could be achieved only by the administration of oxygen in sufficient quantities to make up for the deficiency in air, and the duration of the upward journey above the limit of successful acclimatization.
A paragraph from Jamb 1979 comprehension ( passage D)
The good thing is, you don’t need the complete passage to answer a question right, each answer is buried in the various paragraphs that make up a passage.
Below is an arising question under this passage.
The author believes that to overcome the problems of altitude and weather the climber needs mainly.
a). Courage and speed
b). Energy and moral fortitude
c). sufficient quantities of oxygen
d). Swiftness and sureness of foot
e). quick acclimatization
Gaze through the question, then go through the given options, afterward scan over the given passage, what do you think would be the correct option.
Yes, I mean you, want to try?
I am waiting…..
Look at this: Although Swiftness and sureness of foot are mentioned in that paragraph towards the end, you would be wrong if you pick option D.
Look at the question again, the writer already said that, both could be achieved only by the administration of oxygen in sufficient quantities to make up for the deficiency in air…
Now what and what does the term ‘both‘ refer to?
Look at the question again, the altitude and weather! Yes, that is what the author asks you, and the correct option is C, because the passage states that “…both could be achieved only by the administration of oxygen in sufficient quantities to make up for the deficiency in air…”
When an author asks you a question, the answer you must give is what is stated in the passage, and you must be very intelligent in determining your answer, please do not be too in a hurry to answer.
Yes, you are getting close to being intelligent when dealing with passages with what you’re learning now, but not close enough! Let’s learn more.
SECRET 3: You must be very good in Grammars/vocabularies as they are well used in Passages
This is one of the most crucial and vital secrets I want you to understand. In a comprehension passage, the author uses grammar or vocabulary to confuse and hijack your understanding.
Read this paragraph again that we used to explain our point earlier on:
It was desirable, in fact, that we should meet both these requirements and thus give to those chosen to attempt the summit and to their supporting teams some measure of insurance against the vagaries of weather, for safety in mountain climbing is as much a matter of swiftness as of sureness of foot. Either or both could be achieved only by the administration of oxygen in sufficient quantities to make up for the deficiency in air, and the duration of the upward journey above the limit of successful acclimatization.
Looking at this paragraph, it is easy to get confused and not understand what the writer is trying to say.
A candidate who is not conversant with vocabularies will be unable to deal with comprehension passages.
There is no comprehension passage in Jamb which you would not find vocabularies. You must from hence begin studying new words and much more vocabularies that you can cover before the exam, try to understand the flow of words, from one of the sections of this advanced Use of English guide, I will show you how to break down words you don’t know or just seeing for the first time.
If you are good with words, you will be able to relate well with questions, it would help you understand the author’s question and the given context.
To achieve this, you must use the SQ3R reading method.
SQ3R READING METHOD FOR COMPREHENSION PASSAGES
You might come across a question in Jamb’s comprehension passage that will ask you “what is the main idea of this passage?”
Yes, without an iota of doubt you are very likely to get questions of this nature wrong unless you know what the full passage is talking about.
Nevertheless, understanding the main idea of a passage will help you get every other question right.
Watch out for questions which will ask you to give a suitable title to the passage, you can use the SQ3R method to know what any passage is talking about so you can you get the main idea of a passage without wasting time?
It’s simple, this reading technique is what I have thought each of my candidates sitting for any exam that deals with passages, this technique is called the SQ3R reading technique.
What does that mean and how is it used?
SQ3R is an acronym as explained below
Using this technique you will be able to understand any passage and know what the main idea is.
Please I would recommend that you use this strategy when you get to the exam hall.
This is how to use it.
Rule 1: Survey- That is another way to say, scan through the passage, scanning gives you a quick grasp of what the passage is about, like what tone, what style of passage or what the writer telling you!
You don’t have to waste time, just take a minute or two to go through it the first time then that leads us to the next thing to do.
Rule 2: Question- Now ask yourself questions from the idea you got from the passage the first time of your scanning.
For instance, ask yourself, what idea is the author trying to say, what do I already know about this topic?
This technique will open your brain which will lead you to get the answer to the questions right.
Rule 3:- Read Now read the full passage but you have to put the structure of the passage base on how you have first scanned it and the question in rule two at the back of your mind.
Try to see if you can understand the passage. I recommend reading it only once in this step.
Rule 4:- Recite The next thing you need to do is to recite the main point you have gathered in your imaginations.
Rule 5:- Review The last thing to do is to review the whole passage, but this time I want you to go through the questions for that article then go through to the passage again.
Once you do all those, try to attempt the questions. That is all there is to know and do at this stage.
But I must say, the main idea does not emanate from the first paragraph, but it does lie within between the second, third and fourth paragraphs depending on the passage length.
I guess you are now getting fully set to deal with any passage you meet in JAMB.
Apart from the fact that the author expects you to answer base on what the passage says, there are times when your residual knowledge, which means what you knew before now as long as it does not stand as the opposite of what the passage says.
Erstwhile, you will need more intuitive thinking to answer questions that you obviously must have known the answer.
I got this question below from Jamb past question, it comes from a passage in Jamb Past questions.
Foremost, the first paragraph of the passage says:
So far I have been speaking of science in its universality, viewed from the perspective of the world at Large. For in the context of our own country and our sister developing countries, many of the factors mentioned earlier are not very important. For example, pollution, deterioration of the environment and population explosion are not serious problems for us in this country.
A question is then put to the passage;
The term ‘our sister developing countries’ implies
A. Britain, Gambia, and Canada
B. Ghana, Germany, and Togo
C. Russia, Switzerland and America
D. Liberia, Sierra Leone and Gabon
E. China, India and Holland.
In this very question, none of these countries in the options got mentioned in the passage or rather the very first paragraph which mentions the term ‘our sister developing countries’
So, this is where your residual knowledge is required, normally, it is obvious that all African countries are developing countries. But only option D puts the range of countries right which is Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Gabon, these are all Africa countries which are referred to as our sister developing countries.
So don’t forget that most passages you will meet in Jamb will require your earliest knowledge so study as many past questions as you can in a wide range.
You must scrutinize the passage before attempting any question. Most times with the help of the given options you will know which paragraph to get your answer from.
Bonus: To be very good at answering comprehension passages, the most important secret I must give you is this, your success depends on how many passages you study and understand before the exam.
So grab your use of English Past questions and start dealing with every single passage.
Focus more on 1998 – 2003 and 2010-2017 passages.